Position: Office Manager
School: Madison Alternative Center
School District: Norfolk Public Schools
City, State: Norfolk, VA
Clarice Steeley was nominated by her principal, Leesa Mundell.
The scope of Mrs. Steeley’s accomplishments are profound. She is the office manager at Madison School, an alternative school setting which serves students who, for various reasons, have been removed from their home schools and are provided with the opportunity to return to good standing and earn the right to return to their home schools.
Mrs. Steeley began her service in Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) in 1994, and immediately chose to work in an alternative school setting. When she was asked why she desired to work in an alternative setting, which offers many more challenges than a regular school , she smiled and replied, "I want to be a mentor and a positive role model for our children."
The many staff members she cares for and the students she loves will joyfully attest to the fact that she has achieved her goal. Mrs. Steeley is appreciated for her insight into the needs of the staff and her timely solutions to their problems. She also makes herself readily available to any student or parents who may need her.
Mrs. Steeley’s customer service qualities are evident through her interactions with the students and parents. She even maintains her Notary Public Certification in case a parent may need it. She also attends all monthly office manager meetings for NPS, as well as conferences to learn new ideas to share with the staff.
Mrs. Steeley is the quintessential professional. She has devoted a great deal of her professional life to perfecting her craft as a successful office manager. She knows how to do practically everything, as well as who to contact if a student, parent, or staff member needs additional assistance. Mrs. Steeley expertly cultivates an atmosphere in her well-run office that radiates efficiency, stability, and harmony. She carefully cradles, within her professional demeanor of strength and determination, a joyful persona that transforms any negative disposition of a student, parent, or staff member she may encounter during the school day into a positive interaction.
Mrs. Steeley recently earned the Certified Educational Office Professional distinction recognition from the Norfolk Association of Educational Office Professionals (NAEOP), and she was honored by the School Board with its prestigious School Board Award.
In addition, the following was recently conferred upon her because of her herculean efforts to strengthen her professional organization and assist all office personnel:
“On behalf of the Association of Educational Office Professionals of Norfolk (AEOPN) Executive Board and members, we want to take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciation for your contributions towards making the Virginia Association of Educational Office Professionals (VAEOP) Fall Conference a huge success. AEOPN and VAEOP are deeply grateful for your support, talents, and generosity.”
Mrs. Steeley served as the President of the AEOPN for two years, and she created and sustained a strong, caring, forward-looking organization committed to helping its members return to their home schools enriched with knowledge from professional workshops and interactions with colleagues. The organization inspires members to share their power and determination with children, parents, NPS, and the community.
Mrs. Steeley directed the organization in its commitment to fill 200 Christmas Stockings for the Salvation Army. Additionally, she organized Therapy Thursdays for members to meet and share information and concerns, and presented awards to members who excelled. She also organized courses of study for all interested members, as well as scholarships for students who were pursuing a career in the business field.
"Grace is defined as beauty or charm of form, composition, or expression and thoughtfulness toward others. This elegant word and all of its connotations define and epitomize our Clarice Steeley," Mundell said. "The full measure of an individual is not to be found in the person herself; instead, it is found in the colors and textures that come alive in the children, the teachers, the parents, and the community stakeholders with whom she interacts."
"Mrs. Steeley’s professional palette reflects colorful brilliance and depth. Her educational toolbox is crammed full of insight, conviction, determination, purpose, and compassion. She is always evolving, and we, on a daily basis, greatly benefit from her illumination: We are better than we ever would have been without her. Therefore, we respectfully request that she be considered for the LifeChanger of the Year Award," Mundell concluded.